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Inside Track

Richmond music news.


The wait is over for new material from sludge-metal warriors Lord by Fire. Two songs have been released as a 7-inch on local label Forcefield Records, both featuring the last-minute beats of temporary drummer Erik Larson (Parasytic, and others).

“From the Iraqi desert to the streets of America” is a quote from one of the newest members of Richmond's rock community. The Jim O'Ferrell Band is fronted by its namesake, who draws inspiration from his deployment to the Middle East. The band recently released its second album, “Back to the World,” written by O'Ferrell during his last tour as an infantryman in Northern Iraq. The band also has an EP titled “The Stranger,” which was recorded and released between deployments.

The Jefferson Planecrash proves you can blend extreme metal with multiple genres — grunge, folk, even electronica. You'll find the startling evidence on the band's new EP, “The Imperfection of Man,” recorded by Nick Skrobiz of the Wayward. A live demonstration will be held June 6 at Nara Sushi.

Richmond's very own noise rock, hardcore and punk amalgam, the Catalyst, finally has finished writing its first full-length, “Swallow Your Teeth,” the long-awaited follow-up to the 2007 EP, “Mariana's Trench.” The band is in the studio this month with Steve Roche (Off Minor) and the resulting album will be released this summer on Perpetual Motion Machine.

First-time guitarist Andy Cobb, violinist Julia Gabriel, and accordion player John Ptacek played music together in their dorms at art school in Brooklyn. After transferring to Richmond, Cobb and Gabriel met bassist Reid Magette, formerly of Colin Healy and the Jetskis, convinced Ptacek to come down and do some recording, and came up with a name for their folk-bluegrass hybrid -- the Itchy Hearts. The band already has done some small tours, supported Tim Barry here in Richmond, and given out hundreds of copies of “Goodbye Goodnight.” Before they embark on an early summer tour, the Itchy Hearts play May 27 at the Camel with Paleface and David Shultz and the Skyline.

Shine up yer dancin' shoes, because ska torch-bearers Murphy's Kids are putting out their first full-length. “Departures” spans a breadth of styles, including ska, reggae, soul and metal. The title refers both to the new level of production and songwriting for the band as well as addressing the departure of friends from the River City. Grab a copy at the CD release show May 30 at Alley Katz. — Compiled by Mike Rutz of “Activate!” on 97.3 and Jay Smack of “Studio B” on 102.1


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